Alrighty M. Night, what have you got in store for us this time… After Earth is a sci-fi action flick that is set in the near future where a catastrophe in the environment causes the human population to be forced out of Earth and live in a new settlement known as Nova Prime. Cypher Raige (Will Smith) is the leader of the Ranger Corps, a military organization that currently plans to use Ursas, deadly creatures that only sense the fear of their prey, against aliens that want to dominate Nova Prime. Cypher’s son, Kitai (Jaden Smith) is denied from joining the Rangers, which disappoints his strict father. Eventually, Cypher ends up taking his son with him on his last voyage, only until their ship fights its way through an asteroid field, causing it to crash land on earth where Cypher and Kitai are the only two survivors. With Cypher’s legs broken and the emergency beacon in ruins, Kitai is given instruction to locate the tail of the ship which broke off, containing a backup beacon. Kitai is now on a mission to test his skills as a ranger and save their lives before time runs out.
Where should I start? The acting is weak out of both main leads. Will Smith is so robotic in his performance and delivery to the point where I just didn’t care whether he would make it or not, a sharp contrast with most of his upbeat and entertaining performances. Jaden suffers as well, lacking any real charisma with the character he plays. The dialogue is exactly something you would get out of an M. Night film: senseless and unrealistic, though it should be noted that this was written by Will Smith, and co-written by Shyamalan, so I’m not sure what went on.
It’s not a bad set-up, but the plot grows very contrived, very predictable and very questionable from the start, and while the 100 minute run time goes by fast, the pacing is incredibly slow, and you almost forget that this is supposed to be an action adventure. The CGI creatures are poorly rendered, the editing is awkwardly structured, but it sure is one hell of a summer movie.
M. Night seems like a cool person in his interviews, but the guy keeps coming out with some of the worst shit to touch cinema. He could’ve walked away from this one, but went ahead and accepted the directing task for Will Smith’s family project. This movie is dumb, Dumb, DUMB, but it is a fun time at the theater. Have a few drinks, grab some friends, and you’ll have a blast.
1 out of 5